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Nash raises $12,500 for villagers in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan villagers received a much-needed boost through generous donations from Bermuda residents.

Ian Nash was able to raise $12,500 from co-workers, friends and family here and in his native Canada to assist his charity work with US-based Corner of Love.

He took the funds and five large bags packed with medical and dental supplies to San Ramon, where they were distributed to needy people in different villages.

It was the second such trip Mr Nash, an account manager with AF Smith Ltd, has made.

He raised $7,800 for his trip to the poverty stricken area last year this year he set a goal of $10,000. The funds raised are to assist in building a new school, medical facility and church/recreational building.

Only just back from his nine-day trip, Mr Nash has already started a clothing drive for children and adults in San Ramon.

“Last time I had to say no to some donations because there was just so much stuff coming in,” he said.

“I’m working with my organisation, Corner of Love, and the Nicaraguan Government and they are going to help to see if we can get a container together to fill and once we get approval for that we will really be putting a push on for clothing. That seems to be the thing that people can easily give here in Bermuda.”

The bulk of the $12,500 Mr Nash was able to raise for this most recent trip came from Bermuda residents, he said.

“There is still money coming in but I was able to get over the $10,000 mark,” he stated. “About $4,100 of it came from my home province, Newfoundland.”

The power of social media certainly helped.

“Between Facebook and the website (www.cashfornash.com) that a friend of mine created for me I got a lot of donations in as a result. I was very happy to reach my goals and only started asking for donations in mid to late-October. I want to keep this as an ongoing thing and not just wait until my next trip.”

Mr Nash was one of 65 volunteers from Corner of Love who travelled to San Ramon.

“[Between us] we were able to see 25 villages in the days we were there. We did break into four groups in order to serve more of the communities and my group was able to see about 700 to 800 people. There were people and their family coming to the clinics so we got to serve over 10,000 people with the four groups.”

He added: “We got to see the wall up on the school and church and the medical facility so it is looking good there. They are looking to have the roof on the church by June, before fall which is their rainy season. In order to draw off the local economy they hire locals and they have a contractor come up from Managua, the capital, and he’s a very experienced builder.

“My group was able to go to six different villages and each morning we would fill up the bus and go to our village. I headed up my team. We had a pharmacy team, a triage and a medical team and a clothing and a dentist team in my group and I had to oversee all of them to make sure there was a flow. Each group had that same dynamic.

“Everybody was down there to do God’s work and I feel we all worked together very well and it was a great success. I was even able to go back to one of the villages I went to last year and saw some improvement in the health of the people that were there. They only medical support they usually see is us.”

Next year Corner of Love hopes to purchase a mobile well-drilling device in order to provide clean drinking water for the villagers.

“I would like to see what I can do to help raise funds for that,” he said.

“You give them whatever money and it always goes straight to the mission. Ninety-five percent or more of the villages we went to all drink from contaminated or parasitic water. It is above groundwater from streams or ponds and it has a lot of parasites in it.”

Useful websites: www.corneroflove.org, www.cashfornash.com.

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Published March 05, 2012 at 6:00 am (Updated March 04, 2012 at 6:49 pm)

Nash raises $12,500 for villagers in Nicaragua

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